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Psychic Crime Family Picnic
6/4/2015 11:05pm

Greetings from sunny Nova Siena!

The markets are open and filled with people and laughter and contentment. There's music in the streets and art in the salons. The men and women are in suits (and less formal wear, but still very nice), and the girls wear dresses and boys have pegged pants and beautiful shoes.

And no zombies in sight.

I'm back in the pensione with Angela. Her harp playing isn't weird like it was, and I've taken up the Catore - kind of their bongo drum. We play together on the balcony in the evening breeze.

And the Psychic Camera Obscura Theater is in great shape - pristine! It's the Necropolis that's in disrepair.

Needless to say, I made it through. I don't know from where to where exactly, but this is the reflection I want to live in - the "right" Nova Siena. How it ought to be.

The only thing... but I don't think about it. Much. Don't want to think about it. While there's an Angela here and a Don Ginevra and everybody else I knew here (all doing quite well), there's still just the one me. And all my stuff is here... things I've collected, some things I've never seen before. It's like I've slipped into my own life in a better world - but it's not quite mine. What happened to the "good" me that had been living this life?

I'd rather not look into that too hard. I'm just happy to have found a great place - the place I'm meant to be.

Have a great summer everybody! Maybe I'll see you at the next Psychic Crime Family Picnic.


Psychic Crime Family Picnic
5/31/2015 11:35pm

So, ok, the Psychic Camera Obscura works a little different from how I thought.

First though, the bad news. I'm pretty much out of coppa and mortadella and provolone and everything else. Oh, and water. No more water. And I don't think my barricades will hold up much longer, even at the lurching pace of the Gar'zza - the Italian businessmen who apparently devolve into mindless, bloodthirsty zombies in this lost jungle city state.

The good news? Well, it might just only turn out to be "interesting" news (for the psychic science journals - feel free to cite me), but the Psychic Camera Obscura isn't just some clairvoyant picture amplifier. It takes a much deeper view.

After getting to know the presets and the controls, I began to see what I could bring up. London, Rome, the Vatican, Terhan. Kolkata, Seoul, Manila. Playgrounds, shopping malls, people in their living rooms.

Just for laughs, I set it for Nova Siena itself. Here. Just to see what would happen.

What I saw was a beautiful city - filled with markets and people and laughter and contentment. There was music in the streets and art in the salons. There were men and women in suits, and girls in dresses and boys with pegged pants and beautiful shoes.

This was not my Nova Siena. There were no zombie hoards, no bombed-out buildings.

What was I seeing?

From the Latin: Obscurare - to darken, confuse. The Psychic Camera Obscura doesn't just invert images, upside-down. It inverts them at a deeper level, not just like a mirror, but an anti-reflection, a backwards-land. An entirely different, opposite reality. Where Spock has a beard, and everything is reverse.

Except the image I'm seeing is beautiful - it's good. I am the one in the bad reflection. I am in the wrong world. The right world - where the vampires are businessmen, and they have civilization, and wealth - is in the reflection. The wrong world - where I'm out of food in a condemned old theater and surrounded by demented mobs of savage monsters - is where I'm at.

How did I end up in the evil copy of the world, and not the real one? Or at least the good one?

Still, the Psychic Camera Obscura is just a projector. Isn't it? Not a doorway?

I've arranged the mirrors to focus directly on our own coordinates at noon. I've arranged the crystals for maximum efficiency, and, frankly, included some completely made up patterns of my own design. If I can generate enough energy, in a feedback loop into our own location, and I stand right in the middle of it - sitting in a firehose of psychic-enhanced light....

Well, it will take me to the next stage one way or the other.

Vedi Nova Siena, e poi mori!

Psychic Crime Family Picnic
5/26/2015 11:58pm

Greetings from lovely Nova Siena, where I've been holed up in the Psychic Camera Obscura for about a week, fending off the undead hoards.

Just before it all went completely off the rails, Angela came to me in the dead of night and shushed me out of our beautiful pensione. She said to run.

"You must go! Run! Far away!"

"We're in the middle of the jungle."

"It is the Gar'zza! You are not safe here! Go!"

We are in the middle of the Venezuelan rainforest. Literally hundreds of miles of jungle and no roads. Just a little landing strip where they land their private jets. Which I don't know how to fly.

So I went to my fort - the old theater that houses the Psychic Camera Obscura. Which thankfully I'd been cleaning out and quietly barricading from the inside for weeks. I'd even stashed away food and water. Naturally, sparkling water, some tasty salamis and soppresata, and some amazing fromaggio. It's small consolation while the undead/vampire/zombie whatevers these Italian business guys turned into hurl themselves against my barricades and look for weak spots in my defenses. They are NOT the same people I've been living with all this time. I mean, ok they ARE the same people, but they're out of their minds.

And not very bright. I mean, they all seemed like the smartest guys in the room when I came down here, but now, they're almost mindless, wandering the streets, occasionally getting a bright idea and mobbing my front entrance, or a stray one wandering around on my roof. They seem to have lost the ability to use tools - otherwise they'd have crowbarred their way in a long time ago.

Also, they're active day and night. Doesn't seem to bother them either way.

Meanwhile, I've had a lot of time to figure out this Psychic Camera Obscura thing.

And you know what? It works. Using either starlight or daylight (each has a different effect), you can call up the image of things happening from far away. You arrange some crystals, stand in the right spot, and viola! Clairvoyant projections, covering the huge curved wall of this magnificent old theater. The wall is stained and the plaster is cracking, but there it is, kind of delicate and gauzy, and projected upside down on the wall. It's got a lot of presets - mostly boardrooms, high tech HQ's, secret underground lairs. Like some kind of old psychic Skype. Except nobody's picking up - all the other ends are empty.

Isn't this the time when an International Psychik Pstrike team would the RIGHT time? I mean, usually I don't go in for that kind of thing, but, hearing those null-grav engines kick in over my building and having my ears pop from the teleport insertion - that would about make my day right now.

Psychic Crime Family Picnic
4/26/2015 11:47pm

Well thanks @Lazzeretto. I don't want to get anybody in trouble, I'll just continue living in the City of the Undead as the only guy with blood in his veins!

Actually, they're not THAT undead. They seem like regular, middle-aged Italian guys in suits. But they spend more and more time in the Necropolis - the main place I'm not allowed to go.

And you never see them actually drinking blood. Or having fangs. They're business guys.

Except whatever goes on in the Necropolis. Angela won't tell me but even she goes there at night. She says it's "not for outsiders." The rest of the time she plays her harp on the terrace, and its weird tune is really starting to get on my nerves.

So I've been spending my time in the Psychic Camera Obscura. It's a wreck. It's like some old theater that's been left a mess for a hundred years. I've been hauling out the junk and cleaning up. It keeps me out of Angela's hair, and the old broken furniture is making an excellent barricade at the entrances....

Psychic Crime Family Picnic
4/20/2015 9:23pm

Did you say "mafia money," @Lazzeretto? Do you know something about psychic crime family culture? Because I'm afraid I'm in a little over my head here.

Back in February, I had an offer I really truly felt I couldn't refuse - to travel to an ancient, isolated Italian Renaissance community hidden deep within the Venezuelan rainforest. There I would not only be with the most beautiful girl I'd ever met in my life, but I could help work to preserve and even save their culture, by learning to pilot their Psychic Camera Obscura, an ancient device that kept them connected to the outside world.

You see, the denizens of Nova Siena are all suffering from a hereditary disease that makes them weaker the more they spend time outside their city state in the jungle. In order to help keep their culture alive, I thought, well, you know, new blood in the mix...?

But it turns out that's exactly what they wanted. They are, in fact, Vampires.

Or, a kind of vampire, at least. They don't mind the sun, but they do need to keep in close proximity to Nova Siena. And, of course, blood. The Don's daughter has been able to keep me off the donor list, but I'm not sure how long that can last. Especially since I can't seem to figure out their crusty old Psychic Camera Obscura, which turned out not to be so fanciful and well-kept, but rather dusty and broken down instead. I'm not sure it's worked for centuries, if at all.

So, Lazzeretto, if you've got some kind of psychic crime family advice to help me out of this, it would be much appreciated. Or, of your family has any sway with the Dons of Nova Siena, that would be cool too. Don Ginevra is my host's name.

Psychic Crime Family Picnic
2/23/2015 10:10pm

I had a fantastic time at the Psychic Crime Family Picnic, and I'd encourage all students to attend next time there's another one. Not only did I meet lots of interesting young people my own age from many different backgrounds, I may have also discovered the love of my life!

Her name is Angela, and she comes from an isolated Italian Renaissance community hidden deep within the Venezuelan rainforest. Aside from occasional trips to Psychic High School and the Vatican, they have shunned direct contact with the outside world for centuries. They live in idyllic palaces with plazas and piazzas and what-not, covered in rainforest vines and beautiful domes.

Their only regular contact with our world is through their highly advanced Psychic Camera Obscura, with its beautifully tiled mosaics and ornate balustrades, through which they mentally influence the international stock and currency markets, directing their profits to deeply hidden bank accounts throughout the world.

Angela says their psychic city-state in the jungle is beautiful, and she couldn't bear to leave it. Literally. When any of them are gone for any length of time, they begin to weaken and suffer terribly. So their trips away are always short.

But her father, Don Ginevra, says it would be appropriate for me to come and visit, even if he knows I like his daughter. ;) Apparently, due to being removed from the rest of humanity for so long, they're beginning to lose their ability to psychically connect with the rest of humanity - and thus the Psychic Camera Obscura could become useless to them. He wants me to go down there and give it a try - get in the pilot's seat and see if I can drive it.

This is the absolute best thing that's happened to me since coming to Psyhigh! I'm packing my bags tonight, and teleporting out in the morning.

Plus, I'll get school credit! It's a win/win!


Psychic Crime Family Picnic
2/21/2015 2:38pm

What's with all the helicopters and black limousines on campus today? Lots of guys in dark suits and ear pieces, well dressed families with lots of Louis Vuitton and little dogs?